Buildings and people along San Benito Street are reflected in the shiny helmets.

The new Hollister mayor acknowledged Monday that his ownership of The Vault property will force him to recuse himself from any dialogue or decisions regarding a prospective biker rally.

In light of a planned discussion about a 2013 rally at Monday’s council meeting – his first full gathering as mayor since winning the election Nov. 6 – Ignacio Velazquez confirmed to the Free Lance he will recuse himself “from any conversations on the rally” due to a prospective financial gain.

California law forbids elected officials from taking part in decisions with an impact on personal finances.

“There is a conflict there, so I want to make sure we’re following the law,” he said.

Monday’s council meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. at Hollister City Hall, 375 Fifth St.

Velazquez is owner of The Vault, a restaurant and event center at Fifth and San Benito streets. When the business ran largely as a full-time restaurant during the rally’s 12-year run, Velazquez had cited how the weekend event generated about three months of regular business there. On Monday, he compared the rally’s financial benefit for The Vault to “Christmas season” for downtown retailers.

During his campaign for mayor, Velazquez talked regularly of his support for a rally revival. He also said, at the time, he had been working on a business arrangement that would eliminate the conflict of interest potential.

On Monday, he said talks on that deal are still under way – “to be completely free of” The Vault property – but that there is “still a portion” of the arrangement he is trying to work out.

“I don’t want any problems with the whole deal,” he said, explaining why he declined to discuss details about the restaurant.

Look back for updates.

Previous articleHoops: SBHS girls takes third at Alisal Winter Jam
Next articleBusiness Buzz: Pierce Real Estate opens on Sixth Street


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here